A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

State of Good Repair

Alice Blackwood heads to the Repair Workshops as part of State of Design – and goes home with a lamp made of a soup ladel and a trumpet horn.

State of Good Repair


August 4th, 2011

There was a sense of excitement, and perhaps just a hint of exhaustion, at the launch and auctioning off of the many re-found and re-purposed treasures created during The Repair Workshops last week.





Held as part of the State of Design Festival, The Repair Workshops saw 3 tonnes of salvaged rubbish – bike frames, broken televisions, bed frames, soft toys, instruments and more – brought down into the long yellow-lit corridors of the basement at Donkey Wheel House.



For 3 days (and probably nights!) a team of ingenious designers, artists, scientists and amazingly inventive creatives worked away, hobbling together everything from vegetable colanders to record player parts, fashioning real, live working objects: lights, talking television sets, motorbike helmet speaker systems, rejuvenated dining room chairs, cutlery sets… the list goes on.






The auction event went off without a hitch, with enthusiastic participants vying for their own unique piece of trash-turned-treasure.

“We raised over $2,000 for Environment Victoria and saved hundreds of dollars in landfill fees for the Brotherhood and Vinnies,” reports Co-Organiser Leyla Acaroglu.


Of the pieces hard won: “I bid fiercely for 2 restored chairs and I won! They are now sitting proudly at my dining table – a testament to repair and creativity!”

It was overall, a huge project, with the workshops opening to the public over the weekend just passed.


“The response from the public was amazing!” says Leyla.

“We had over 500 people come through and did over 75 repairs.

“People would come in and tell us about their umbrella/hair straighter/ toaster/play station control/iPod/stereo, and how they didn’t want to have to throw it out.

“In most cases they would leave with a fully repaired item.


“Many people just came along to visit and asked if we would be there every week as they wanted to come back.

In short, the project as both a new and educative venture was “a raving success”.

“We engaged lots of people with repair and value in products and we saved lots of things from landfill.”


Check out all the photos online at The Repair Workshops blog and Facebook page.

The Repair Workshops

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed